Cinema of Escape
In the intricately complex world of human existence, there exists a common thread― the desire to escape.
It is the innate human desire to break free from the ordinary, the mundane, and the constraints that bind us. It is the kind of desire that brings out the trajectory to transcend boundaries, the path to transformation, and the ultimate pursuit of surpassing life's prescribed limits.
This featured program showcases nine films from different countries, cultures, genres and eras, taking us on a cinematic journey that delves into the essence of "escape." Each film can be seen as a unique chapter in the book of escape, highlighting different facets of human desire to transcend limitations while also revealing the various forms of expression encapsulated by this concept. The routes through which we will revisit these classic films are illegal immigration, prison break, exile, migration, and road trips.
Mou Tun-fei's Lost Souls explores the painful journey of individuals escaping oppression, demonstrating how the road to illegal migration can become a battleground for survival. In Clifford Choi Kai Kwong's Hong Kong Hong Kong, the protagonists seek refuge in order to survive, but also struggle to suppress their desire to escape from their present reality.
Jacques Becker's The Hole takes us inside the walls of a prison, where inmates meticulously design escape routes, challenging the concept of confinement. Nicholas Ray's They Live by Night follows the adventurous journey of young lovers on the run, depicting the ambiguous line between escape and the quest for freedom.
Raúl Ruiz's Dialogues of the Exiles invites us into the lives of Chilean exiles, presenting the dual challenges of assimilating into a new place and holding on to existing beliefs. Chantal Akerman's From the Other Side crosses the US-Mexico border to shine a light on those who seek to escape adversity, providing a profound reflection on contemporary displacement.
In Wong Kar Wai's Happy Together and Sophie Calle's No Sex Last Night (Double Blind), lovers embark on intimate yet alienated road trips across America, steering through contradictory posturing that brings them closer yet further apart.
Wang Tsai-sheng's A Cha-Cha for the Fugitive invites us on a dance with a protagonist on the run, embracing the joys of breaking free from ordinary life and narratives through splendid, fragmented visuals.
Every frame, every scene, and every piece of dialogue in these films unfolds in unique ways. When watching the films, please take in the various representations of escape and their different landscapes. Immerse yourself in the diverse worlds of these characters and feel their longing for freedom, change, and rebirth. Despite their trauma, displacement, or sojourns in foreign lands, the tensions and convergences arising from their escapes have also contributed to the fluidity and redefinition of boundaries.
And in the end, open up one after another of these cruel yet beautiful paths of escape.